Aphra Behn (1640-1689) was the first female writer who could make a living from her pen. Her novella Oroonoko, the Royal Slave is not inferior in tragedy to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or Othello.
Oroonoko is a young Ghanaian prince who struggles with a bleeding heart: his beloved Imoinda has been murdered, so he thinks. By ruse, the prince is imprisoned on a WIC ship and a disastrous future as an enslaved person awaits him. What follows is an unexpected reunion between lovers, unexpected friendships in the Surinamese jungle and a revolt against human fate. UMA makes a radical adaptation of the novel, in which the characters enter into a confrontation with their writer, a harrowing fight against the inescapable as a musical epic.
“It is not titles that make men brave or good, or birth that bestows courage and generosity.” – Aphra Behn
UMA makes experimental music theatre, in which Surinamese kawina, western seventeenth-century court music and modern electronic beats merge. Oroonoko is the 25th episode of De Nieuwkomers, Orkater’s talent development program that enables young musicians and creators to turn their ideas into a performance.
“Oroonoko is a feast for the eyes.” (…) “Their performance is flawless”